Barclaycard Arena celebrates one year since launch

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This week marks one year since the official launch of the Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham, UK, following a substantial £26m (US$38.9m) redevelopment.

Since Michael Bublé took to the stage on December 2, 2014, to a sell-out crowd, over 625,000 people have visited the iconic venue to see acts such as One Direction, Lionel Ritchie and Paul McCartney perform.

The redevelopment saw the former NIA (National Indoor Arena) transformed into a modern and innovatively designed arena in the heart of Birmingham city center, with all areas upgraded to create a world-class music and entertainment venue that provides a best-in-class customer experience.

The venue’s state-of-the-art facilities include more comfortable seating, a much-increased capacity, nearly 64,500ft² of new pre/post show space, improved hospitality choices – including the Vista Rooms, an exclusive, free lounge for Barclaycard customers – and retail and merchant outlets.

The most dramatic element of the refurbishment is the glass façade overlooking the Brindleyplace canal side development, which includes an LCD ‘wonderwall’, distinctive copper fins, iconic sky needles and a boardwalk that is home to retail units – creating a dynamic scene on arrival for visitors and a focal point in the center of Birmingham.

In addition to the Vista Rooms, Barclaycard customers have spent the last year enjoying extended benefits at the venue, including fast-track entry; pre-sale tickets to events and shows; and ‘Fee-Free Friday’, where tickets bought through Barclaycard on a Friday have no admin fees.

The revamped venue also offers the latest contactless payment technology throughout, which has kept the queues down during busy periods to provide fast and efficient service to enhance the overall experience. Contactless was introduced into the UK by Barclaycard and has seen very strong growth in the West Midlands.

The partnership between the global payment giant and the NEC Group dates back to 2011 when it was announced that Barclaycard would take on the naming rights of the arena to coincide with the redevelopment. Six years later, and the arena has seen an increase in footfall and a vast array of top talent through its doors. In addition to world-class music talent, the arena has played host to sell-out entertainment events including the Strictly Come Dancing Live Tour, the Sainsbury’s Indoor Grand Prix and Disney On Ice.

“Partnering with a leading international payment provider has really helped us put the Barclaycard Arena brand on the map, and sets us in good stead in an increasingly competitive global marketplace,” said Phil Mead, managing director of NEC Group Arenas. “The offering to artists and customers alike has improved significantly since the redevelopment and our award-winning team continues to make visitor experiences better day in, day out.

“We have had an extremely successful year as the Barclaycard Arena, and hope the venue continues to prosper in 2016 and for many more years to come.”

“It’s been a fantastic first year at the Barclaycard Arena which is testament to the great work the combined team have put in to making this a world-class venue, attracting superstars from all over the world,” added Daniel Mathieson, head of experiential marketing and partnerships for Barclaycard. “The Arena has been redeveloped with customers very much at its heart, offering state-of-the-art facilities alongside a host of added benefits for Barclaycard customers, such as access to an exclusive lounge, pre-sale tickets and fast-track entry.

“We’d like to thank the people of Birmingham for giving us such a warm welcome to their city and we look forward to welcoming many more visitors to the Barclaycard Arena over the next year. With the likes of Ellie Goulding and The Libertines already confirmed, 2016 is shaping up to be a good one!”

Since the launch of the redeveloped venue, 97% of visitors have said that the arena has improved for the better over the last 12 months. In the last year, visitors have consumed more than 30,000, more than 49,099 portions of chips and over 20,000 confectionary items, and more than 100,000 bottles of beer have been guzzled down.

December 4, 2015

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